Mystery Object ??

Every month the Museum will publish a Mystery Object which we hope may initiate some thought and discussion amongst our website visitors. Perhaps it will stimulate and provoke the detective nature or the investigative and curious traits amongst us. If you can possibly solve the puzzle, please let us know…or even if you can offer an educated guess. Have a bit of fun….do not be afraid to offer outrageous suggestions…..who knows, you might fluke it!!!

Don’t forget to ask Mum and Grandad…..the mystery object may be familiar to them as an object they used in their day which has now been superseded by more modern technology.

Simply post your guesses/suggestions/comments in the “Leave A Reply” section below. Who knows you might be able to help us here at the Museum to identify an item in our collection that we don’t know anything about????

Mystery Object for February 2017

Welcome back, another year ahead here’s hoping it comes with many promises fulfilled and much happiness for everyone.

This month’s Mystery Object is something milliners need to enable them to perform their trade?

It is used to produce an item of clothing that the human race uses for protection against the weather or to look fashionable 🙂

Give it a go 🙂


A hat block, also known as a hat form or bashing block, is a wooden block carved into the shape of a hat by a craftsman known as a block shaper. It is used by hat makers or milliners to produce a hat. Today there are only a handful of block shapers left. Recent years have seen a resurgence of hat wearing, and with it a corresponding need for new hat blocks as students of millinery hone their skills.

Vintage hat blocks are desirable and sought after by enthusiasts. The beauty of the wooden hat block is that it can be re-carved into a new shape or modified, unlike aluminum or poly blocks.







Mystery Object for December 2016

Okay, well no one guessed what the November Mystery Object was 😦  let’s see if anyone can guess this month’s mystery object 🙂



Mystery Object for November 2016

Firstly apologies for the lack of published mystery objects of late, we are hoping to revive this initiative starting now………….

This month’s mystery object goes back well over 2 decades so it will be interesting to see who can identify and/or remember the below memento?

Mystery Object November 2016

Mystery Object
November 2016



Mystery Objects for December 2014

With Christmas fast approaching, I would firstly like to wish all our viewers a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have all enjoyed visiting our website. This months Mystery Object is again very easy and I have linked it to a Christmas memories theme. So no clues…. I am confident you will all get this one right and I expect to be inundated with responses?????

What is the significance and relationship to Christmas of the following items??? Would love you all to share your memories and recollections. Just go to the Post Section at the bottom of this page to add your comments.

3d coins



Mystery Objects for November 2015

Well last month we had 2 successful posts which correctly identified the 3 items and their purpose (See Posts at the bottom of this page). This month I have given everyone another easy one. Not too many clues for this one and if you were born in the 1950’s or earlier you should have no problems with this one. If you belong to the younger generations I suggest you seek some help from your parents or grandparents and they will definitely be able to help you.

Please take the opportunity to share some of your stories and recollections about these items. There was usually 1 other item that accompanied and was associated with these 2 objects. Can you tell us/describe what it was and what it was used for ??


Mystery Objects for October 2015

Well lets see if we can get a few more people leaving a reply this month, as I know there are lots of folk visiting our website and having a look at our monthly Mystery Object. This month should be very easy for most people to work out. I have been very generous and depicted the 3 objects grouped together. All 3 objects were used in conjunction with each other and were integral to their ultimate use. See if you can successfully name all 3 items and what they were used for?? I don’t think too many clues are necessary for this one.

For some people (perhaps some of our older generations) one of these objects may evoke some PAINFUL memories?? Can you tell me what I am referring to…..and if so maybe you could share some of your memories with us?? Just add your comments/stories etc in the “Leave A Reply” Section below.


Mystery Object for September 2014

OK…..I have to admit that I have been very slack and I haven’t posted a Mystery Object for quite a while now. We have been very busy here at the Museum lately, what with renovations, exhibition upgrades and installations etc and I have simply not had the time to get around to adding new mystery objects. My apologies….and therefor I will post (what I think) is a pretty easy Mystery Object for this month. If you are having any difficulties with identifying the object and being able to tell us what it was used for….you could probably consult Grandad and Grandma and they might be able to help. I will even provide you all with a few clues.

  • It is an earthenware object with a glazed finish
  • Quite heavy for its size
  • It is aprox 25 cms long and aprox 12 cms high
  • It is flattened on the bottom surface
  • It has a screw top lid on the upper surface
  • At one time, this type of object was fairly common in many homes (I think I may have given it away with this clue !!!)

If you think you have the answer please post your guesses/suggestions/comments in the “Leave A Reply” section below. Good Luck.

3 views of the Mystery Object for September 2014

3 views of the Mystery Object for September 2014


3 views of the Mystery Object for September 2014

3 views of the Mystery Object for September 2014

Congratulations to Lesley…she was the only contributor who took a stab at guessing what September’s Mystery Object was…and she was CORRECT; it is indeed an old time bed warmer. Before the advent of the hot water bottle (not to mention the modern day electric blanket) this was used on cold winters nights to pre warm those cold sheets. Operated on the same principle as the rubber hot water bottle; simply fill with very hot water and place under the blankets prior to going to bed.

Look out for October’s Mystery Object….and see if you can work out what it is. We would love to hear from you !!

Mystery Object for June

Something interesting for the mechanically minded: Aprox. dimensions:12x13x7 cms

What is this???It’s definitely mechanical???

Any ideas yet???

Answer: The Mystery Object is part of the mechanism for an old wind up Gramophone like the one pictured below.

Unfortunately no one guessed the correct answer, but we thank you for your very good attempts. Well done to “rtistdug” you were the closest.

A lovely example of an antique Gramophone.The wind up handle led to the spring motor.

Mystery Object for August

I think this one will stump most people and its probably a bit tough, so I am going to put in two objects just to make it a little easier if you have no idea what the first object is. Most of the older folk out there should have little trouble recognizing the second object, but some of the younger generation might have some difficulties!!!!!

Object #1

Mystery Object for August 2011

OK, OK, I know its difficult….so I’ll give you a clue. Think World War 2???? If you think you know what it is, we’d love to hear from you, just add your comments/guess in the post below.

Object #2 This ones pretty easy…..I think ????

Mystery Object #2 for August 2011.

Answers for Mystery Objects for August

  1. Laura Amiet says:

    Is this part of an old sewing machine????……..other than that …I’ve got nothing!!!!!

  2. rtistdug says:

    I’d hazard that it’s a clock-winding mechanism of the sort used in a grandfather clock – it looks like it could lower a weight slowly from the winding drum to power the mechanism . . .

  3. Su Cooper says:

    percussion cap

  4. Laura Amiet says:

    mystery object two looks like an old school pen of some description?

  5. Laura Amiet says:

    And Mystery Object number 1 for August 2011 reminds me of a kiss off Peter Pan Haha just saying

    • Sorry Laura, it took me a long time to figure out what the heck you were talking about ?? After my old brain gave it a lot of thought I finally worked it out… were referring to the story of Wendy and Peter Pan… a kiss…so Peter gave Wendy a THIMBLE !!! Now I get it !!!!

  6. Violet says:

    I believe that that specimen is an old clothes washing device. I’m pretty sure you would have a tub of soapy water, and you would submerge the lower part and rub you dirty clothing against it.

  7. David says:

    Good detective work, Violet. It certainly pays to visit the Museum and find the mystery object and check it out first hand.

  8. Allan Henderson says:

    It is a glass wash board for washing clothes

  9. Lesley says:

    September 2014’s mystery object. I think it is a bed warmer. Cheers

  10. Jason C says:


  11. Jason C says:


  12. I can’t believe anyone has told us what Oct 2014 Mystery Object is???? It’s an easy one and I expected lots of responses!!! Come on….only a few days left in October. I am sure Malcolm would know this one….where is your online guess Malcolm!!!

  13. Malcolm Roach says:

    i: Cut throat razor.
    ii: Strop for finishing the blade after sharpening, also for disciplining naughty boys.
    iii: Oil stone for sharpening blade.

  14. Congratulations to Jason C and Malcolm Roach for correctly identifying October’s Mystery Object. These were common men’s grooming aids in years past. It sounds like Malcolm may have had some experience with the razor strop at close quarters !!!!!!

  15. Who could forget the old slate and the slate pencil that we used in Grade 1 and 2 in Queensland schools right up until the 1960’s. It was a daily ritual to sharpen the slate pencils on the concrete outside the classroom. A damp rag was used to clean the slate but they were prone to becoming very dirty and smelly. Teachers encouraged us to have a sponge and a plastic squeeze bottle filled with water to clean our slates. I remember having to plead with my mother to buy a small plastic bottle of washing up detergent so I could take the empty bottle to school. In those days we used left over soap in a wire handled cage affair to put soap into the washing up water.
    I also remember it was useful on a hot summers day if you got particularly thirsty and you could take a quick drink from the container (but being very careful the teacher didn’t catch you doing it!!)

  16. Mystery Object November 2016 – well it appears no one went to school in 1988, no guesses as to what the November mystery object was 🙂 During 1988 we commemorated 200 years of Australian history in the modern world, these medallions were one of the ways the Bicentenary was celebrated.

  17. david amiet says:

    I can’t believe no one could guess the Mystery Object for November !!!…..especially if you were a school student attending any Australian school in 1988 (our Bicentenary Year). I bet a lot of people have one of these sitting somewhere in a cupboard at home ??? See if you can find yours and tell your kids and grandkids about what you did and how you celebrated our biggest birthday as a nation yet.

  18. Mystery Object for December 2016 was a “Timber Butter Churn” from the 1920’s 🙂

  19. Mystery Object for February 2017 was a hat block. Wooden blocks are created to allow milliners to mold fabric around the block, thus creating the shape needed for a specific design. When hats are mass-produced they use large metal presses to make the shape.

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